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Understanding the Context of Dual Arrest with Directions for Future Research

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 8 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2002 Pages: 1449-1473
David Hirschel; Eve Buzawa
Claire M. Renzetti
Date Published
December 2002
25 pages
This article discusses the current research on arrests where both the parties in an intimate partner incident are arrested.
This article discusses the deficiencies of the research on dual-arrest research and proposes a new study be done. It notes that the move toward preferred and mandatory arrest policies in the United States has increased domestic violence arrests dramatically. These authors argue that dual arrest should not be examined in a vacuum but should be placed in a broader context, taking into account both the full range of police options and comparisons of police action in intimate partner violence cases to the responses to other domestic and non-domestic incidents, and outlines an agenda for future research. A table is provided showing State domestic violence statutes. Topics of discussion include conflicting conceptualizations of domestic violence, dual arrest and harm to victims, the need for a broad conceptual framework, and directions for future research. A review of the prevalence and context of dual arrest within the United States is provided, with a discussion on understanding the context for such arrests. The arrest, prosecution, and conviction of battered partners is reviewed along with the impact of dual arrest on subsequent reporting of violence. In conclusion, the potential for negative consequences of statutes and policies that limit or remove police discretion and mandate arrest are inadequately addressed at present by researchers. It is strongly proposed that empirical research be done that provides information on a national basis about the use of dual arrest in intimate partner violence cases. Notes, references